Why did you choose those materials? That size?
These are the materials which we found in the ashes of our house after the fire in 2012. Because the flames were so hot, most of the objects that survived were ceramic or metal. There were a lot of objects like springs and metal tools, but these did not provide a good surface for photo transfers. I picked the pieces which had large planes that could display a photo coherently. I also looked for objects that worked together, like a table setting in The Fine China.
Why are you making it? Is it an ongoing project?
Nearly every art project I have made up until this point has addressed the fire in some indirect manner. I struggled for a long time on how to make art directly about it, though. Because I think best through photography, I had a hard time figuring out how to photograph loss. How do you photograph something or someone that is no longer physically here? How could I make my audience understand that I really cared about all these charred junk-y items? It was just this semester where I made a breakthrough when I was introduced to alternative process photography and decided to join these objects with photographs.
I may want to display these pieces somehow for the Colorado Springs community. Although I think many people can relate to this body of work, it is directly pertinent to those affected by the fire. I hope to gain some closure for this project, and explore new concepts as I start a new chapter in my life. I will be moving out of the house we rebuilt, so I will no longer be reminded of the loss every day and am taking another step away from childhood. My identity will be changing, and I expect my interests will as well.
Nina Foster was born in 1995 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. She started her art education in 2013 when she first attended Colorado State University – Pueblo and later transferred to the University of Colorado Colorado Springs in 2015. She has been included in several group exhibitions and shown her work in local venues, such as the Photography Showcase at Mountain Fold Books in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Foster explores concepts of memory through photography and has recently moved into alternative process photography. She continues to live and work in Colorado Springs and will receive her bachelor’s degree in Visual and Performing Arts from UCCS in May of 2017.
Nina Foster is an artist whose works are showcased in GOCA 1420’s Senior Visual Art Exhibition, Ways of Seeing. This is the eleventh annual Senior VAPA Majors art exhibition and runs from 21 April through 13 May 2017. Gallery hours are noon to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, or by appointment. GOCA1420 is located at UCCS Centennial Hall at 1420 Austin Bluffs Parkway, Colorado Springs, 80918.